SUNY Canton Makes Marks on Clarkson University CITeR Grant for Fingerprint Research


SUNY Canton student researchers will put their touch on a new fingerprint study.

The college will be receiving $70,000 as part of over $500,000 National Science Foundation grant obtained through Clarkson University’s Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR). The funding will allow students to offset the costs of their education by examining vulnerabilities associated with using fingerprints to protect personal information and inspecting methods for capturing fingerprints using smartphones for crime scene investigations.

Alexandria Mikula and Rachel Merica practice taking fingerprints during a class.
Pictured (l to r) are SUNY Canton Criminal Investigation majors Alexandria M. Mikula of Trumansburg and Rachel E. Merica of Rochester as they practice taking fingerprints during a class.

“The grant will allow us to pay student researchers from our two-year Criminal Justice and Computer Information Systems programs,” said Associate Professor Kambiz Ghazinour, Ph.D., who oversees SUNY Canton’s Advanced Information Security and Privacy Research Lab and teaches in the Cybersecurity program. “During the summer, we reached out to five students who were qualified to participate.”

Ghazinour serves as a co-principal investigator on the SUNY Canton portion of the research. The entire project will be overseen by CITeR Director and Clarkson University Paynter-Kringman Endowed Professor of Engineering Science Stephanie Schuckers, Ph.D.

The students will spend half of their time working at SUNY Canton and the other half with Clarkson University. “Their earnings will be equivalent to a year’s tuition to attend SUNY Canton,” Ghazinour said. “The experience will benefit them as they seek to continue their education and influence their future careers.”

A student photographs fingerprints with a cell phone.

They will be charged with creating and detecting fake fingerprints to determine how to increase security to prevent fraud or theft. A second topic of study includes analyzing the effectiveness of artificial intelligence attacks on fingerprint algorithms.

An additional section of the research will be spearheaded by SUNY Canton Professor and Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cyber Security Director Elizabeth A. Brown, Ph.D., who will also be a co-principal investigator and oversee student research on capturing images of latent fingerprints using smartphones.

“This method could reduce the equipment needed and could potentially be captured by individuals trained in collection rather than by forensic scientists,” Brown said. “Research of this nature is relevant in the field of forensic science, biometrics and digital forensics. It will provide the students with an opportunity to experience different disciplines in the hopes of continuing their education."

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.